R.C. Sproul Jr. Resigns from Ligonier Ministries & Reformation Bible College for Undisclosed Reasons
Ligonier Ministries posted this statement on their website yesterday.
A Statement Concerning Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.
December 12, 2016
Last Friday, the board of directors of Ligonier Ministries and Reformation Bible College received and affirmed the resignation of Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. He is stepping away from his duties at the ministry and the college for personal reasons. This was communicated by phone to his father, Dr. R.C. Sproul, the founder of Ligonier Ministries and chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and it was later communicated in writing to the entire board of directors of Ligonier Ministries.
We support the Sproul family and give thanks for the many edifying contributions of Dr. Sproul Jr. over the years through his work at the ministry and the college. We believe he will be well cared for by his church during this time of transition, and we pray for him in his future endeavors.
R.C. Jr. was a board of director, esteemed teaching fellow, rector of theology, and professor of apologetics. No one held more positions in the ministry than he did. He was likely positioned to replace his father. Now he is gone and the board states “we pray for him in his future endeavors.” I don’t think he is coming back. That is earthshaking news in Ligonier circles.
Furthermore, R.C. Jr. has been removed as an elder from Heritage Church in Centerville, Tennessee and as a pastor from Ascension Presbyterian Church in Longwood, Florida without explanation. In the same measure, he is no longer listed as an elder or pastor in his denomination. The board notes “he will be well cared for by his church [Ascension Presbyterian Church] during this time of transition.” Transition to what?
On August 31, 2015, R.C. Jr. posted “Judgement and Grace” on his blog which was a deceptive confession about his “visit” to Ashley Madison. The Ligonier board of directors suspended him for 10 months. They returned him to all his former positions on July 1, 2016. Obviously, more has come up. Exactly what, I do not know but in must be serious. Nothing like this would ever have happened if not for monumental reasons. And don’t expect any explanations from R.C. Jr. He has shut down his blog, his Facebook page, and protected his Twitter account. You can no longer access anything he has said on those forums in the past. I also see he recently got engaged and married. He and his wife, Lisa live in Sanford, Florida.
It should also be noted the board of directors did not object to his resignation last Friday. The statement says, they “received and affirmed the resignation.” I take “affirmed” to mean they agreed the resignation was right and necessary. If fact, I highly doubt the resignation was voluntary. I provided 60 pages of carefully documented findings on R.C. Jr.’s lying, deceit, and hypocrisy to the board of directors and other ministry leaders in April. I think they “fired” him though it will never be explained in those terms. He is still the son of R.C. Sproul Sr.
The biggest question that remains is why the resignation and removal for “personal reasons”? If they were morally neutral reasons, an explanation would have been supplied so as to avoid speculation. Regardless, I don’t expect R.C. Jr., Ligonier Ministries, his pastors, or denomination will ever tell us based on my past interaction with them. They have covered up and lied for R.C. Jr. in the past, I expect they will do the same in the future.
R.C. Jr. also writes a monthly column for Ligonier’s TableTalk magazine under the heading “Seek Ye First.” I just received the January issue yesterday. R.C. Jr. wrote an article titled “The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away.” In it he said,
“Our purpose, our telos, our reason for being, is not merely that we would speak words of praise while we live our lives but that our lives and everything in them would manifest His glory. He does not exist for our sake. Rather, we exist for His glory. … When we lay down our lives and take up his cross, we put to death our own agenda, his kingdom is our all in all.”
I have written about R.C. Jr.’s hypocrisy. This is but another example. I am always grateful for good teaching and sound doctrine but ultimately, we are judged coram Deo as Ligonier Ministries rightly instructs us. Listen to R.C. Sproul Sr.
“To live all of life coram Deo is to live a life of integrity. … Integrity is found where men and women live their lives in a pattern of consistency. It is a pattern that functions the same basic way in church and out of church. It is a life that is open before God. It is a life in which all that is done is done as to the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, not expediency; by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the tutelage of conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.” (TableTalk, May 2016)
I love the teaching of Ligonier Ministries but I hate the hypocrisy that has surrounded their handling of R.C. Jr. I hope these new developments serve to purify the man and the ministry. If that happens, both will acknowledge their past deceit and provide an explanation for the resignation and removal from ministry.
Two months before R.C. Sproul Jr. set up an account on Ashley Madison he said this in a post titled, “Duggar and Hastert” from June 4, 2015. Duggar is a reference to Josh Duggar. Hastert is a reference to Dennis Hastert. The former was exposed for child molestation and adultery, the latter for pedophilia. This is another example of good teaching but extraordinary hypocrisy.
“We, of all people should be the people quickest to repent, quickest to acknowledge our sins. I wonder if perhaps we might silence our critics…if we would instead regularly, fully, and fearlessly confess our sins. … Beloved, we have been given the true cover for our sin. We cover that covering, however, when we seek to hide our sin from the world.”
I sincerely hope R.C. Jr. and Ligonier Ministries follow their own teaching. This is my most recent post on the matter. I’ve included the highlights below. Go to the link for the entire story.
Ligonier Ministries Lifts Suspension of R.C. Sproul Jr. for His “Visit” to Ashley Madison
Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 1:27 PM
In August 2015, R.C. Sproul Jr. posted a confession on his website titled “Judgement and Grace” in which he acknowledged visiting Ashley Madison one year earlier. Ashley Madison is a perverse website used to arrange illicit relationships for the purpose of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and lesbianism. At the time of his acknowledgement, he held three powerful and prestigious positions in Ligonier Ministries. As expected, R.C. Jr. was restored to all these positions on July 1, 2016.
My greatest concern for R.C. Jr. is not his lack of academic training or apparent lack of gifting. It is his lack of personal character. In particular, his lack of integrity. “Judgement and Grace” is fiction. It is not the truth. And there are many other issues with R.C. Jr. that have been raised by his former friends, church members and fellow leaders. For example, see http://rc-sproul-jr.blogspot.com/.
And as I told Chris Larson (President & CEO of Ligonier Ministries),
“I couldn’t believe you were directing people to a statement you knew contained false and misleading information. In that moment, I realized you, and I must assume Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr. and the Ligonier Board, were committed to covering up for R.C. Jr. by promulgating his false narrative!”
There is so much corruption among national leaders who have supported and defended C.J. Mahaney despite thousands of pages of carefully documented evidence that clearly shows he is disqualified from ministry. I hate to say it, but it is no wonder R.C. Sproul Sr. is covering up for R.C. Sproul Jr. because that is what he has done for C.J. Mahaney. In both cases, he has transgressed his excellent teaching on the holiness of God. Such hypocrisy is deeply offensive to the Holy One.
C.J. took a seven month leave of absence. R.C. Jr. was suspended for ten months. Neither man repented of their lying and hypocrisy. Both were returned to ministry. A temporary absence from ministry with pay means nothing unless it results in the confessing of wrongs and the righting of wrongs. In the case of C.J. and R.C., their time off only resulted in further deceit.
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